The Premier comes to town
THE Premier and her ministers met in Proserpine on Sunday for a community Cabinet meeting to allow community members to discuss what they felt was important to their region.
The meeting was held at the Proserpine State High School hall where about 100 people came along for the forum from areas including Airlie Beach, Proserpine, Bowen, Collinsville and Mackay.
The Premier's ministers and their department entourage, along with a national media pack, meant the spotlight was on the Whitsunday region, not only on Sunday, but also on Saturday and Monday.
Premier Anna Bligh arrived later in the afternoon after spending much of the morning in cyclone damaged towns further north.
She told the forum she had wanted to make sure the community cabinet meeting went ahead despite the devastating weather effects further north in the week previous.
“This part of Queensland is absolutely essential for the economy of the State,” she said.
“Let's hope Mother Nature has gone somewhere else for a long, long time.
“We are getting the message out to the world that the Whitsundays and Mackay is open for business.”
Ms Bligh said community cabinet meetings were her Government's “top priority” because it was the only way to appreciate the concerns, views and dreams of Queenslanders - by hearing them first hand.
Informal questions saw people from the audience ask the Deputy Premier Paul Lucas questions on a range of topics including the environment, the recent cyclones, dental health and regional disability services.
Whitsunday resident Toni Randall asked about the lack of cyclone evacuation centres, Greens member Jonathon Dykyj spoke about coal seam gas exploration and Proserpine resident Jason Brown asked about dental health waiting lists.
Informal meetings followed question time where people had the opportunity to discuss specific topics with their respective ministers without prior notice.
Formal deputations were then scheduled for those who had made appointments and included representatives from the Tourism Whitsundays board and the Ratepayers Association.